Moving into action for Haiti Airbus Foundation humanitarian support

Airbus Foundation relief flight Haiti

The Airbus Foundation is coordinating the Company's resources to help Haiti alleviate damage caused by Hurricane Matthew.

Delivering humanitarian aid

Working with NGOs doing such vital work is at the heart of the Airbus Foundation mission. Through collaboration and partnerships we are putting our various products and services into the effort.

Andrea DebbaneExecutive Director of the Airbus Foundation

On 4 October, the eye of Hurricane Matthew, the most powerful hurricane on record in almost a decade, crossed the south-west of Haiti. Following the immediate aftermath, the Airbus Foundation fused its activities, products, and know-how across the Group’s Divisions to help relieve the impacted areas. The actions include air transport to deliver relief personnelmedical equipment and water supplies, as well as the provision of high-resolution satellite imagery.

Partnering NGOs for relief

Loading the Airbus A330 with humanitarian aid for Haiti

On 11 October, the Airbus Foundation, in collaboration with Action Against Hunger (ACF), used an Airbus A330 test aircraft to transport approximately 20 tonnes of humanitarian aid collected by ACF to Port-au-Prince in Haiti. The goods included water sanitation equipment, stocks of drinking water, household kits and family hygiene packs. 

 

Helicopters: key to crises

An AS 350 helicopter in Haiti supporting the Airbus Helicopters Foundation's partners

On 4 October, the Airbus Helicopters Foundation received requests for helicopter support from Médecins Sans Frontières, the IFRC and the French Foreign Affairs Crisis Center. Airbus Helicopters has since sent four AS 350 machines, currently flying 14 hours a day, to support the Foundation's partners. Several helicopter assessment flights and transport flights of humanitarian aid have been performed since 5 October and are still on-going.

Supporting disaster zones from space

Satellite imagery is regularly used in emergency response, including management of logistics, distribution, transport and the setting up of telecommunication networks and refugee camps.

The International Charter - Space and Major Disasters activated the programming of several satellites over many sites in Haiti, as well as Florida and the east coast of America. Maps of the hurricane's impact were sent to relief organisations and the authorities of the stricken countries.

Les Cayes, Haiti's third-largest city, was hit particularly hard by Hurricane Matthew, which ripped up trees and destroyed many buildings. The damage can be seen on the Pléiades satellite images acquired on 7 October 2016 when compared to archive images from 2015.

Airbus Defence and Space Pléiades satellige image Haiti
Left, Les Cayes, Haiti after Hurricane Matthew (7 October 2016), compared with December 2015. The images were captured by Airbus Defence and Space's Pléiades satellite